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Alberta legal cannabis sales to exceed half billion dollars this year: analyst

Sales of legal cannabis in Alberta should climb to $540 million this year on monthly revenues that have more than doubled since 2019, says an industry analyst.

But with Alberta reaching a retail saturation point with nearly half the pot stores in the country, those numbers aren’t expected to increase much more in the foreseeable future, said Het Shah, Calgary-based managing director of Cannabis Benchmarks.

And they’re not expected to significantly reduce the provincial government’s forecast of continued red ink on the cannabis side of its taxation ledger.


Put a recycling deposit on cannabis containers, bottle depot association urges AGLC

For most recyclable containers purchased in Alberta, you also pay a small deposit which is then returned when the bottles or cans are dropped off for recycling.

A variety of containers can be dropped off at bottle depots for refunds — except for those used to store cannabis.

Now, the agency that governs bottle depots in the province wants to welcome cannabis containers into the deposit return system, saying the move could divert plastic from landfills and stabilize declines in depot income.

"Depots are ready to accept the product," said Jerry Roczkowsky of the Alberta Bottle Depot Association (ABDA). "It's a matter of working with the manufacturers to get the system in place."


Cannabis still in demand as 7 new stores set to open in Calgary

Canopy Growth Corp. has begun opening several of its 10 new locations in Alberta, with seven of those in Calgary. 

The Ontario-based company says Tokyo Smoke and Tweed will be the names of its Alberta stores.

“We feel it is the right time to come into the market,” said Margo Mulitsa, district manager for Alberta. 

“We are thrilled to bring that experience to our guests, and be a part of this market.”

The Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission says there are 516 licensed retailers province-wide with 126 of those located in Calgary. 

“There is no cap or limit on the number of stores that can operate in Alberta at this time; the market will essentially dictate that,” said spokesperson Heather Holmen. 


Canopy to open 10 stores in Alberta under Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners

Canopy Growth Corp. says it will open its first retail cannabis stores in Alberta.

The Ontario-based company says it's set to open 10 stores under the Tweed and Tokyo Smoke banners and has additional locations in the pipeline.

The stores, which are to open over the next week, include seven locations in Calgary, one each in Spruce Grove, Lethbridge and Edmonton.

Canopy says it will create more than 100 jobs in Alberta.

Canopy is one of Canada's largest cannabis producers and retailers.

The company says the expansion into Alberta will bring its number of retail locations across Canada to a total of 50, with more planned later this year.


Low energy prices, COVID crisis leave Alberta with $24.2B deficit

The double blow of collapsing oil prices and the COVID-19 crisis have pushed Alberta into a historic deficit of $24.2 billion - more than triple what the United Conservative government projected in its February budget.

“We are continuing to deal with an incredible amount of pandemic uncertainty and economic uncertainty,” said Finance Minister Travis Toews, who delivered his first-quarter economic update Thursday.

“There will be some very difficult days ahead and the road to recovery will be slow.”

Toews reeled off a litany of gloom. Government debt is expected to hit $100 billion by the end of the fiscal year next spring. Overall government revenue is anticipated to drop by $11.5 billion - nearly one-quarter.


'It's not cannabis': Alta. farmer hopes to nip hemp stealing in the bud

An Alberta farmer is asking people to stop stealing hemp from his field after multiple people have been spotted taking plants.

Lory Betchuk is growing hemp for the first time, usually he grows more traditional crops like wheat, barley and oats, to name a few.

"I'm a small farmer, and I just thought I'd just try something a little bit different," said Betchuk. "I always try to do the best I can with the land I've got."

But this crop has posed a challenge for the farmer, people keep stealing it from his field.

"My guess is that they don't know it's hemp, they're probably guessing it's cannabis," said Betchuk. "It's not cannabis."


Cannabis store approvals in Alberta surpass 500, many more on the way

More than 500 cannabis stores have been given the green light in Alberta, with nearly another 200 pending.

The 509 stores approved by Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) are about half of all pot retail locations in the entire country, and are raising concerns about market oversaturation.

With 124 of those Alberta stores, Calgary has nearly a quarter of the Alberta total and more than any other city in Canada.

Within its city limits, Edmonton counts 88 cannabis stores.

Ideally, Alberta, with its population of about 4.5 million, would host roughly 450 stores to ensure a thriving business environment, said Chris Damas, a cannabis market analyst with BCMI Cannabis Report.


Inner Spirit Holdings Opens Additional Spiritleaf Stores in Alberta and Ontario and Surpasses Million Customers Served Milestone in July

CALGARY, AB, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. ("Inner Spirit" or the "Company") (CSE: ISH), a Canadian company that has established a national network of Spiritleaf retail cannabis stores, today announced additional Spiritleaf store openings and the continued expansion of its retail cannabis store network in Alberta and Ontario. The Company also announced it has surpassed the one million customers served milestone for 2020 during the month of July. It recorded its highest-ever monthly customer count in July as well with 205,000 guests served.


Aurora to close some European offices, lay off staff in latest restructuring move

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing some of its European operations as the cannabis producer opts to consolidate its presence in the continent amid soft demand for medical pot, according to an internal memo obtained by BNN Bloomberg. 

Aurora told its employees last week that it will shut its offices in Portugal, Spain, and Italy while reducing its European workforces by one-quarter in select countries and its regional office, the memo said. The Edmonton-based company will shift its European headquarters from Germany to its Denmark office while acquiring the remaining 49 per cent of its Danish business that it doesn't already own, the company said. 


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